Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics, also known as dentofacial orthopedics refers to a branch of dentistry that focuses on diagnosing, preventing and treating facial and dental abnormalities.
Who is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist refers to a dental specialist who has about three years of extra training. Your orthodontist can realign badly aligned jaw, straighten teeth, and improve the appearance of your smile.
What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?
If you are interested in improving your smile and appearance, then you can visit the orthodontist at any age. It is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists that children visit the orthodontist when they are about seven years of age. Children are not the only ones that should undergo orthodontist treatment, with about 20% of all orthodontist patients being above the age of 21. Whether you are thinking of seeking treatment for yourself or your child, you can always visit the orthodontist at any time.
How can I care for my teeth while wearing braces or a retainer?
- Make sure you floss at least once daily and brush your teeth after each meal.
- Only use toothpaste that has fluoride, and ask the dentist if you will need a fluoride rinse. This is great at preventing cavities!
- Whenever you remove your retainer to eat, ensure that you floss, brush your teeth, and do not forget place it in its container so that it does not get damaged or lost.
- Use toothbrush and toothpaste to keep your retainer clean. It may also be soaked in denture cleaner. Avoid putting your retainer in the dishwasher or in boiling water.
- Avoid foods with too much sugar while undergoing treatment, as this cause the bacteria in the mouth to multiply, resulting more plague and sometimes cavities.
- Stay away from chewy and sticky foods (gummy bears, chewing gum, caramel), hard foods (ice cubes, nuts, hard candy), or foods that could get trapped in your braces (taffy, ribs, soft bagels, corn on the cob, etc.).
- Make sure you continue to visit your family dentist every six months.
What are braces?
Orthodontists make use of braces and they are great at improving your smile. Braces are of different types. They include:
- Ceramic braces
- Clear braces
- Lingual braces
- Invisible braces
- Traditional metal braces
- Self-ligating braces
How do I have to wear braces if I get them?
The time spent wearing braces depends on the patient, because every smile has a different response to treatment. Treatment can last between six and thirty months, but most of the time, treatments are completed in about 22 months.
Do braces hurt?
Braces do not hurt but you might experience some discomfort for a few days as your cheeks, gums, teeth and mouth adjust to the new braces.
Do I need to brush my teeth more often when wearing braces?
If you are wearing braces, try brushing your teeth three times daily, at least, to ensure that your gum, teeth and mouth remain healthy. This will remove any food that is trapped between your braces. Also try to floss daily to reach spaces between braces where your brush might not get to. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly floss and brush once you wear your braces.
If I’m wearing braces, do I still need dental checkups once in six months?
Yes! It’s important for orthodontic patients to visit the dentist regularly. With braces, it’s possible for food to be trapped in areas beyond the reach of your toothbrush. This results in the buildup of bacteria which can cause gum disease, gingivitis, and cavities. Your dentist will consult with your orthodontist to ensure that your teeth remain healthy and clean with your braces on.
Will my braces hinder me from participating in school activities like singing, playing instruments, or sports?
Taking part in contact sport or playing instrument may require that you make some adjustments when you start wearing braces, but braces will not prevent you from participating in your favorite activities. It is recommended that you wear a mouthguard as a form of protection for your braces if you play contact sport.
How do I schedule my next appointment?
Just get in touch with our practice on the phone! Our staff will assist you in scheduling your next appointment. If you have just been referred to our practice as a new patient, simply let us know and you will be updated all necessary information.